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2 years ago

OtterBox Defender series case for the Samsung Galaxy S6

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OtterBox Defender series case for the Samsung Galaxy S6

OtterBox defender series for the Samsung Galaxy S6
Rear of OtterBox Defender Series for the Samsung Galaxy S6
Rear of OtterBox Defender Series for the Samsung Galaxy S6
Side of OtterBox Defender Series for the Samsung Galaxy S6
Holster for OtterBox Defender Series for the Samsung Galaxy S6
OtterBox for the Samsung Galaxy S6
Defender Series for the S6 as a stand

OtterBox defender series for the Samsung Galaxy S6

I've spent the last two weeks rocking the OtterBox Defender Series case, and it's been doing a fine job of keeping my Samsung Galaxy S6 secure, both out on the trails while camping (more on that here) and at home at my desk.

2 years ago

Inateck MercuryBox Waterproof Speaker review

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Inateck MercuryBox Waterproof Speaker review

Inatek MercuryBox Waterproof Speaker
Inatek MercuryBox Waterproof Speaker
Inatek MercuryBox Waterproof Speaker
Inatek MercuryBox Waterproof Speaker
Inatek MercuryBox Waterproof Speaker
Inatek MercuryBox Waterproof Speaker
Inatek MercuryBox Waterproof Speaker

Bluetooth speakers are great for gatherings and even better when they're water-friendly.

The Inateck MercuryBox is compact enough to easily fit in your backpack or pocket, measuring 6.5-inches in length and nearly 2.5-inches in height. Most of its construction is made of an anodized aluminum that features a unique perforated design on the front. Inside are two 5W drivers that provide impressive full-range sound for all your mobile music, regardless of genre.

2 years ago

Goal Zero Venture 30 waterproof battery pack review

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Goal Zero Venture 30 waterproof battery pack review

Goal Zero Venture 30 battery: side
Goal Zero Venture 30 battery: rear
Goal Zero Venture 30 battery: front
Goal Zero Venture 30 battery: bottom
Goal Zero Venture 30 battery: with solar panel

GoalZero Venture 30 Recharger

This summer I went camping with the Goal Zero Venture 30 7,800 mAh backup battery. My grand ambitions of getting a tan from something other than a computer screen led me to find a battery that could handle all sorts of treacherous terrain, and the Venture 30 is built for the job. Not only does it have a grippy, rubberized rim for impact protection while stomping around in the woods, it is waterproof without needing extra gaskets to cover up the plugs.

2 years ago

Hands-on the KONA waterproof case for Samsung Galaxy Note 4

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Hands-on the KONA waterproof case for Samsung Galaxy Note 4

A quality waterproof case for Galaxy Note 4 that works wonders above or below the drink.

Summer's in full swing right now for those of us on the top half of the planet. And for a lot of folks that means time around, on and in the water. Instead of packing my Galaxy Note 4 away in my dry box before launching my boat, I opted to give the KONA Waterproof Case a try to see how it held up to a scorching hot day on the Gulf of Mexico — diving and all.

First off, it's important to note that this waterproof case comes in two sizes, and isn't strictly for the Galaxy Note 4 — meaning it will gladly accommodate other devices of similar and smaller sizes. That said, I found the Note 4 to have a perfect fit (minimal wiggle room) with the standard model. If you're rocking a case, you may want to check out the extra large option for a more appropriate fit. It's opened and closed using a swivel-lock system at the top, protecting anything you put inside from water intrusion.

KONA Waterproof Case

The case is completely clear on both sides, making it easy to utilize your touchscreen and even take pictures and video above or below the water. Technically, you can talk on the phone through the case, but it's a bit like talking to Charlie Brown's teacher for anyone on the other end. The TPU material isn't overly thick and actually feels nice to use over the touchscreen, but can be a bit spotty underwater at times. Using the included lanyard, I dragged my Note 4 with me as I went about my hunt for a fruitful spot for scallops. Even after a nearly a 9-hour day of being on the water, not 1 drop managed to get inside the KONA waterproof case.

I also didn't notice any fogging inside, which is usual complaint of mine with other waterproof cases. You can always pack other items inside, too. I was able to fit my Aukey 10k Portable Quick Charge 2.0 Battery, along with a USB cable, some cash, and my ID with no problem.

Is the KONA a keeper?

$13 Buy Now

That's a definite yes from me. I love the fit and the clear TPU on both sides that let's me access just about anything I need without the worry of water damage. Sure, Ziploc bags are probably the most inexpensive way to go, but I never feel completely confident that my device is safe for these kinds of activities. Besides, the KONA's $13 price tag is worth every penny for a true waterproof solution instead of a makeshift one.

Get more info on summer accessories for Android!

2 years ago

LG Tone Active Bluetooth headset is going on sale later this month

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LG Tone Active Bluetooth headset is going on sale later this month

LG Tone Active
LG Tone Active

LG Tone Active

LG has announced that it will commence sales of its Tone Active Bluetooth headset from later this month in North America and Korea. The headset will be available in select countries in Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States, Asia and Latin America over the course of the third quarter.

2 years ago

Best waterproof power banks for Android

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Best waterproof power banks for Android

These waterproof power banks are great for emergencies and surviving through the thick of things.

When it comes to summer accessories that really stand out and make a difference, having a waterproof power bank can really save your skin in a variety of tough situations. Not only are they built to take a beating, they're great for providing battery life to your smartphone or tablet when there's not an outlet in sight. Dive in as we line up the best waterproof power banks we've found that will survive the hot and heavy this summer.

READ NOW: Best waterproof power banks

2 years ago

Incipio OffGRID first look: Adding a microSD card and external battery to the Galaxy S6

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Incipio OffGRID first look: Adding a microSD card and external battery to the Galaxy S6

Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6
Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6

Incipio OffGRID case for the Galaxy S6

Ask anyone who owns either the Samsung Galaxy S6 or the Galaxy S6 edge what they'd change about the phones, and you'll see two answers rise above all others. They need better battery life, and they miss having external storage via a microSD card. Incipio has returned both of those features with its OffGRID battery case. And being that it's also a case, you're going to get a bit of protection thrown in for good measure.

So let's take a look at this case — which retails for $89 but already can be found on sale — and what it makes your phone look like.

2 years ago

Android Wear support in the Flir One is too cool

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Android Wear support in the Flir One is too cool

Flir for Android Wear

Flir for Android Wear

There are several practical applications for relatively inexpensive thermal cameras. The ability to offload processing onto your smartphone, which often has a much better screen and offers a more responsive UI than most mid-range thermal cameras out there, is a great idea. Flir's new One camera takes things one step further if you're an Android Wear user by allowing you to use your watch as the viewfinder and shutter button for the camera, making it possible for you to set your phone up somewhere to monitor an area and record when necessary.

Remote shutter functionality for smartphone camera apps in Android Wear is nothing new, but rarely do you see the watch used as a functional viewfinder. It's most commonly just a shutter button, with a brief glimpse at the photo you took after the fact. Flir's setup is a center-cropped live view through the cameras, with a small shutter button on the bottom of the display. Whatever your current settings are in the Flir One app is what comes through on the viewfinder, and the screen flashes when a picture is taken as confirmation.

The video feed on your wrist is impressively smooth due to the low resolution the cameras capture together, but there's a minimum 5-second delay in the feed on your wrist. Even with that lower resolution, if your Bluetooth connection isn't great you can experience delays as high as 30 seconds from real time. Still, if you're looking at a reason to have a Flir camera around for work this is a feature well worth keeping in mind.

2 years ago

Hands-on with Flir One, a smartphone-powered thermal camera

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Hands-on with Flir One, a smartphone-powered thermal camera

Flir One
Flir One
Flir One
Flir One
Flir One
Flir One Screenshot
Flir One Shot
Artic
Coldest
Contrast
Gray
Hottest
Iron
Lava
Rainbow
Wheel

Flir One

Thermal cameras are little more than a fun toy for most of us, but the companies and contractors that rely on the technology to be more efficient in their work are routinely faced with the tremendous cost associated with most of the hardware in the category. Over the last two years we've seen an effort to make thermal cameras smaller, cheaper, and in some cases even relying on your smartphone to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

The most recent advancement in this lineup is the Flir One, a microUSB dongle that promises to offer a decent thermal camera to those who don't need a $1,000 rig for every job. Here's a quick hands on of this new accessory and it's many features. Spoiler alert — it is also a fun toy.

This is not Flir's first effort in the smartphone accessory space, but it's easily the most polished — especially for Android phones and tablets. The microUSB dongle comes with a nice carrying case with a lanyard for when it's not in use, and it's small enough to be pocketable. Even when outside of the case, the two lenses on the front of the dongle are recessed, so accidentally dropping the camera doesn't immediately spell disaster. It's a fairly simple design, with a microUSB port on one side to charge the included battery and a power button to activate the camera on the other.

Getting this camera to work on your phone is a three step process. You need to open the Flir One app, connect the camera, and tap the power button. You'll see a notification asking for permission to allow data from the microUSB port, and once you've hit OK the thermal image will appear on the screen. From this point, you're using the cameras attached to the bottom of your phone for everything, and the camera on the back of your phone isn't active at all.

Flir's multi-spectral dynamic imaging tech uses one regular camera for detail and one Lepton camera for heat, placing them together in the app to create a single image. This means even though you can get plenty of thermal information with the lights off, the best pictures come from well-lit environments.

Flir One Shot

As you can see in this photo, there's occasionally some drift between the detail sensor and the thermal sensor on the camera. The focal point for these two cameras is best at two feet or greater to avoid this visual separation, but at that distance the detail is usually clear enough that you can figure out what you're looking at with relative ease, so if your goal is to use this camera to find heat or cold leaks it's unlikely to be a problem. You'll also note the resolution of the photo is fairly low by modern smartphone standards, but in fact the 640 x 480 image or video captured by Flir One is twice the size of its predecessor.

Flir One Screenshot

The Flir One UI is about as straightforward as you can get. There's a giant capture button for grabbing photos, a toggle switch in the bottom left for switching from photo to video, and a menu toggle for accessing a thermometer that draws a crosshair in the middle of the screen with the temperature, and some basic settings for camera quality. If you swipe from right to left, you'll get the last photo taken in a built in gallery mode, where you can edit and share photos. These photos are already saved to your local storage, and already accessible from your existing Gallery app, but if you want a quick look back at the quality of the last shot it's a handy swipe away.

Swiping from left to right accesses a panel with nine color map options for the viewer, allowing you to choose how the thermal information is displayed and captured. These options range from flat gray with tiny splashes of color for the warmest or coldest spots to full on Predator Vision, and just about everything in between. The Iron setting, which is the default when launching the app for the first time, is my personal preference. Since I'm not using this for anything other than making pretty colors on things, that doesn't count for much. They are more than just filters, though. There's potentially significant information in each option, depending on what you want from an image. Here, see for yourself.

Ultimately, $250 is still a steep ask for something like this if you're only using it for fun, but there's plenty about the Flir One that should be attractive to those who could use a thermal camera that is a third the cost of "cheap" thermal cameras. It's also $50 cheaper than the competing Seek thermal camera for Android, though we've not yet done a side by side to see which of these cameras is actually better. If you're looking for a decent thermal camera on a budget, or you're looking for a fun accessory for your Android phone, the Flir One seems is worth a closer look.

2 years ago

Best waterproof pouch cases for Android

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Best waterproof pouch cases for Android

Stay calm and cool this summer with a waterproof case for your Android smartphone and tablet.

As things heat up this summer, most of us are making plans to cool off by taking frequent dips in our pool, or visiting nearby lakes and beaches. No matter where you end up, there's the constant reminder that your Android is in jeopardy the closer you get to water. And let's face it: most cases out there aren't designed to handle the sand, waves and salt. We've rounded up 5 waterproof cases for Android devices that allow you to get your summer splash on without the risk of water damage.

READ NOW: Best waterproof pouch cases for Android

2 years ago

Save 40% on Ballistic Glass Screen Protectors for Galaxy S6

Save 40% on Ballistic Glass Screen Protectors for Galaxy S6

Today you can score BIG savings on this durable tempered glass protector for Galaxy S6 through Amazon using coupon code: S6NATION. Our first impressions were great: easy installation and clear, durable protection against scuffs and scratches. Free 2-day shipping is also available for Prime accounts if you're in a rush.

2 years ago

Poll: Do you need the Incipio Offgrid case for your Galaxy S6?

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Poll: Do you need the Incipio Offgrid case for your Galaxy S6?

Incipio Offgrid case

Incipio Offgrid case

Over the weekend we caught wind of the Incipio Offgrid case for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 edge. In case you missed it, the case holds a 3,700 mAh battery as well as the hardware needed to add up to 128 GB of micro SD card storage to your Galaxy S6. And it's not terrible looking.

2 years ago

Best Buy appears to be selling an updated Moto Hint for $129

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Best Buy appears to be selling an updated Moto Hint for $129

Best Buy is selling an updated Moto Hint for $129

Best Buy is selling an updated Moto Hint for 29

Best Buy has begun selling what appears to be an updated Moto Hint for $129, while also marking the original listing as discontinued. Motorola is scheduled to show off some new products on July 28, though it is not yet clear exactly what the company will announce. The Moto Hint was first announced almost a year ago, and it faced its fair share of problems and complaints since the release.

2 years ago

Best Android gadgets of the week: MOOV Now, SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick, and more

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Best Android gadgets of the week: MOOV Now, SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick, and more

It's another week and another round of excellent Android accessories. Every Sunday, we try to find great products that have been released recently and play nice with your Android phone or tablet. These include fitness trackers, speakers, and some more basic (but admittedly useful) gadgets. Without further ado, let's dig in.

2 years ago

A quick look at the Vinsic Wireless Charger

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A quick look at the Vinsic Wireless Charger

Vinsic Wireless Charger
Vinsic Wireless Charger
Vinsic Wireless Charger
Vinsic Wireless Charger
Vinsic Wireless Charger
Vinsic Wireless Charger

It's slim, lightweight, and always stays lit up whether you're charging or not.

We were about due for another wireless charger review, and this time we've got our hands on the Vinsic Wireless Charger. It's a bit larger than the average charging puck, but still keeps a low profile on any desk or nightstand. Measuring in just over 6-inches in length and nearly 3.5-inches in width, it fits every device we have nicely, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The entire charging pad is made of a smooth plastic that steals your fingerprints with a quickness, but is extremely lightweight — weighing in at nearly 3oz.

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